Pelosi demands equal split on Benghazi select panel

posted at 12:01 pm on May 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Good luck with that. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi faces pressure from all sides in regard to the newly-launched select committee to investigate Benghazi. Participating would legitimize the results, while boycotting it might open up Democrats to attacks on their concern for diplomatic personnel abroad, four of whom were killed in the attack on September 11, 2012, and leave administration officials no way to set the narrative through the friendly questioning of Democrats on the panel during public hearings. Pelosi hedged in the direction of participation by demanding an equal number of seats on the committee:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the select committee probing the attack in Benghazi should be split equally between Democrats and Republicans.

“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan,” Pelosi said in a Tuesday morning statement. “The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee. It should require that witnesses are called and interviewed, subpoenas are issued, and information is shared on a bipartisan basis. Only then could it be fair.”

Unfortunately for Pelosi, her own track record with select committees sets the precedent in the other direction. John Boehner pointed out — and Politico’s Jake Sherman did as well — that Pelosi gave Democrats nine of the fifteen seats on the House select committee on global warming in 2007.

Newly-appointed chair Trey Gowdy poured cold water on that demand immediately (via The Right Scoop, at the 4:30 mark):

MARTHA: All right. So talk to me a little it about the makeup of this committee because Nancy Pelosi just said moments ago, to our Chad Pergram, he reported that she wants this to be an evenly divided select committee, an even number of Democrats and Republicans.

And you know that up to that statement, there have been a lot of calls for Democrats to completely boycott this committee. And there’s going to be be very little credibility if it is full of Republicans, many would say.

GOWDY: Well, I certainly hope the Democrats participate. I, Martha, continue to think that some things transcend politics like the murder of four of our fellow citizens and whether or not you trust government. That is not a red or blue issue. That is an American issue. As for whether or not they boycott, I hope they don’t.

I can tell you this. It is not going to be evenly constituted and when she was Speaker Pelosi, she certainly showed no interests in having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

We’re in the majority. That may or may not be the case after November but we’re in the majority right now and we’re in the majority for a reason. And I just find it interesting that people’s ability to do math changes when they go from being the Speaker to the Minority Leader.

MARTHA: So what, tell me what composition you see on this select committee? What would you like it to be?

GOWDY: Well, the Speaker is going to decide that. Something in the 10-7 range or like what we have with other committees now. Every committee of Congress is constituted with more Republicans than Democrats because there are more Republicans than Democrats. And i hasten to add, every committee in the Senate is constituted with more Democrats than Republicans. I mean there are consequences to elections.

That leaves Pelosi back at square one. Does she boycott the committee and leave administration officials in the hands of the GOP with no way to push back against their interrogations, or join up and offer cooperation in the probe? Bear in mind, a refusal to cooperate will mean that Democrats won’t be able to participate in the depositions either, which Gowdy points out will be much more effective in uncovering the truth than televised hearings. Republicans will be able to release testimony at will without any opportunity to provide the context in which it was given. If the panel digs out truly scandalous information, House Democrats will be left twisting in the wind.

I’d bet on Pelosi deciding to participate. There are too many ways to lose in the other direction, and even with their participation Democrats can still claim that the entire process is politicized anyway. Why give up the small advantages they’ll have just to sit on the sidelines?


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Comment pages: 1 2

What do the polls say?

weedisgood on May 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM

And the polls say weed is harmless, who knew that it could alter brain function?

Neitherleftorright on May 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM

If not for the conservative presence in the House, and their leader Ted Cruz, Boehner would give more than half of the committee seats to the democrats.

fight like a girl on May 6, 2014 at 1:30 PM

What is wrong with your Faaacee?

Murphy9 on May 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Madamn Pelousy…

NOMOBO on May 6, 2014 at 12:28 PM

First, I noticed a typo in the first word. Then I realized I’m unsure which way to correct it.

Rix on May 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Not a typo on either word. This so-called woman does not deserve to be called anything nice or respectful. She is an evil, conniving, lying, totally reprehensible biatch.

NOMOBO on May 6, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Sorry, Skeletor: You don’t get to ‘demand’ things when you’re Leader of the Losers.

orangemtl on May 6, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Yeah… nope. You would not extend the same to the conservatives if the shoe was on the other foot… time to play by the lefts game rules….

watertown on May 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Does anyone else think that his statements re: having IT experts testify under oath that they have located and produced all documents meeting specific search criteria is inspired. A potential game changer in my opinion.

I’ve heard that, in the hands of a real expert, there is no such thing as a deleted document in an IT environment such as the government’s. And that alterations to original documents can be traced. Can someone knowledgeable comment on this?

horatio on May 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Any Democrats participating in this will have no options except to bang their shoe on the table and cause distractions. Anything to keep the truth from coming out, or at least to spin its coming out as tainted, irrelevant, partisan. What other option do they have? A complete airing of the facts?

This approach is sort of what Elijah Cummings does in Issa’s committee.

FishingwFredo on May 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Karma is a b****

cmsinaz on May 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM

This is the same woman who locked the doors to committee meeting rooms to keep all republicans out.

Bevan on May 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I’ve heard that, in the hands of a real expert, there is no such thing as a deleted document in an IT environment such as the government’s. And that alterations to original documents can be traced. Can someone knowledgeable comment on this?

horatio on May 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Not an expert by any stretch, but if the documentis simply deleted, it’s not gone. Usually it can be recoved unless a “shredding” program is used.

I prefer Eraser for my own stuff. it has NSA level destruction on it. overwrites the data 35 times. THAT is unrecoverable. once or twice can be reconstituted with the right programs.

todler on May 6, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I prefer Eraser for my own stuff. it has NSA level destruction on it. overwrites the data 35 times. THAT is unrecoverable. once or twice can be reconstituted with the right programs.

todler on May 6, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Don’t give them any ideas.

JetBlast on May 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM

The problem is they can’t find any Democrats who have clean hands. They all knew the Whitehouse was lying but said nothing at the time.

So their isn’t anyone of the statue to be on the panel. They are all corrupt. And they have all benefited from the corruption.

petunia on May 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

“… House Democrats will be left twisting in the wind.”

I am failing to see the downside in this…

Seven Percent Solution on May 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

What would Piglosi have done as the Speaker? Yea, that’s what I thought. Hypocrite.

Whitey Ford on May 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM

But will they get a free space flight for interfering for Dims like John Glenn did?

viking01 on May 6, 2014 at 2:17 PM

John Boehner pointed out — and Politico’s Jake Sherman did as well — that Pelosi gave Democrats nine of the fifteen seats on the House select committee on global warming in 2007.

How are the two select committees at all comparable in terms of gravity?

Tlaloc on May 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

This, like Harry Reid’s remark about “greasy pigs”, is all about the narrative they’re attempting to spin to the media, so they’ll pass it along to the masses. After 5 1/2 years of the words and deeds of this administration, does anyone believe that they all of a sudden want to play nice?

VALman on May 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM

I saw that davidk

No whining there CA libs

cmsinaz on May 6, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Nancy has her hands full today. House scheduled to vote at 5 to hold Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify before the House Oversight Committee. They’ll go around Holder’s DOJ and get her before a judge. Wish they’d throw her in the House pokey while waiting on the judge.

de rigueur on May 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

“… House Democrats will be left twisting in the wind.”

I am failing to see the downside in this…

Seven Percent Solution on May 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

:)

It’s interesting that just the other day Dems were crying that they wouldn’t participate. Maybe some actually figured this out:

If When the panel digs out truly scandalous information, House Democrats will be left twisting in the wind.

And the grandstanders want to be able to do something other than just hold pressers. They know that eyes will be on the Committee and they yearn for the chance to be in the limelight.

INC on May 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Wish they’d throw her in the House pokey while waiting on the judge.

de rigueur on May 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I was just read a column that mentioned the House jail cell.

INC on May 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Not an expert by any stretch, but if the documentis simply deleted, it’s not gone. Usually it can be recoved unless a “shredding” program is used.

I prefer Eraser for my own stuff. it has NSA level destruction on it. overwrites the data 35 times. THAT is unrecoverable. once or twice can be reconstituted with the right programs.

todler on May 6, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Unless they stored those docs on a network drive overnight. Those will be backed up. Eraser and other programs only work with files you have access to. Once those files are copied as backups, it doesn’t matter what program you use to erase it… there’s still a copy of it on backups.

But ultimately, its the email backups that will prove interesting. Email is backed up religiously and if you send it, they have it. With documents, there’s the option that they didn’t put it on the network and kept it local.

dominigan on May 6, 2014 at 2:41 PM

No, make it proportional to the representation in the house.

jake49 on May 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM

From 2007, bottom of page 20 and top of page 21 in this pdf.

LUDLAM: The AOC [Architect of the Capitol] reported to me, “Several rooms in the Capitol have evidently been used for detention of offenders. They were called Guard Rooms and it is not always clear whether those rooms were kept strictly for custody of prisoners or whether they were also used as a guard station.” In addition, there’s an article in the [Washington] Evening Star on October 6, 1902, that refers to a guard house located in the “room now occupied as the House of Representatives post office, in the southeast corner of the ground floor of the Capitol.” This is the room that was used by the infamous House bank. There are quite a few other references to guard rooms.

INC on May 6, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Realizing that, already being in bad shape going into up-coming elections, refusing to participate only hurts them more, Democrats now demand equal number of positions on the committee…I guess to ensure they get to ‘plant’ at least 1 ‘Cummings‘ on the committee.

easyt65 on May 6, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I was just read a column that mentioned the House jail cell.

INC on May 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Yes, there is one. Last time they threw someone in it was around 1934. So… barely used! I’m sure it’s clean.

de rigueur on May 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I can’t help but picture Nancy standing in her office with a drink in her hand — then hurling it into the fireplace with a shriek when he makes the “forget how to do math” statement. Sweet!

Lan Astaslem on May 6, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Pelosi knows better than to expect an equal number of Dems on the committee. It’s usually done on the basis of the makeup of the House. That may not be equal, but it’s fair, because, you know. elections have consequences.

HiJack on May 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Pelosi knows better than to expect an equal number of Dems on the committee. It’s usually done on the basis of the makeup of the House. That may not be equal, but it’s fair, because, you know. elections have consequences.

HiJack on May 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I think she’s just setting up a reason to boycott the committee.

TarheelBen on May 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Still music to the ears:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Only better sound would be:

Former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

djtnt on May 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I say, with the strongest of intent: TIME TO PLAY HARDBALL, BITCHES!

Tard on May 6, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I’m not so sure Benghazi is the top of the most important items for Americans tight now.

What do the polls say?

Dave’s Still Not Here on May 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM

The polls say you’re an unusually bad liar. A majority of Americans say your Cult Leader has been Lying about Benghazi.

And since Quinnipiac has no connection with Faux News, don’t even go there.

Next question?

Del Dolemonte on May 6, 2014 at 4:51 PM

appoint only white* Democrats to the committee just for kicks.

* though I’m not sure there are enough white Democrats in the House to fill up their committee assignments.

MWC_RS on May 6, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Benghazi is not top priority for Americans.

Dave’s Still Not Here on May 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Neither is O’bamacare. Polls prove it.

In the CBS News poll that came out at the end of March, do you know what 4% of Americans said was the most important problem facing America today?

And before I tell you, only 3% said immigration was the most important problem, and only 3% said education was the most important problem.

No, in that CBS poll, 4% of Americans said the most important problem facing America was…President O’bama.

You must be so proud of that result. I would be, too!

Del Dolemonte on May 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Benghazi is not top priority for Americans. Leave it alone.

weedisgood on May 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Absolutely. Unbelievable. Absolutely.

It may not be at the very top a al #1, but it sure isn’t a cellar dweller like gullible warming.

jazzuscounty on May 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Pelosi needs to be answered as only the Boehner can answer; sorry Nancy, but we won.

Don L on May 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

oes she boycott the committee and leave administration officials in the hands of the GOP with no way to push back against their interrogations, or join up and offer cooperation in the probe?

Holy crap, I almost choked on my beverage reading that gem.

Yeah, they’re certainly going to *cooperate*, I’m sure.

Midas on May 6, 2014 at 5:23 PM

How are the two select committees at all comparable in terms of gravity?

Tlaloc on May 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Who cares?

Were you trying to make a point about gravity, or just whining that your beloved democrats are finally being held to their own standards?

I know. That can be a b!tch.

runawayyyy on May 6, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Benghazi is not top priority for Americans. Leave it alone.

weedisgood on May 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Yeah, not a top priority like legalizing pot or something.

Midas on May 6, 2014 at 5:24 PM

This is the same woman who locked the doors to committee meeting rooms to keep all republicans out.

Bevan on May 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Appoint the right number of Dems, based on the spread of the House itself – then lock the doors to prevent the Dems from attending.

Midas on May 6, 2014 at 5:29 PM

This is the same woman who locked the doors to committee meeting rooms to keep all republicans out.

Bevan on May 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Appoint the right number of Dems, based on the spread of the House itself – then lock the doors to prevent the Dems from attending.

Midas on May 6, 2014 at 5:29 PM

John Hinderaker @ Power Line:

Is that a reasonable request? Not if precedent is a guide:

In 2007, the House created a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. As Speaker, Pelosi set up the structure. There were nine Democrats and six Republicans.

Likewise, in 1974, the Watergate Committee reflected the Democrat majority in the House. 4 Dems, 3 Republicans.

Del Dolemonte on May 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Getting to the bottom of what the President and his staff and the person in charge of the State Department knew and how and why they covered it up is what is important.

Even though, its fairly clear that Obama and Clinton wanted to present themselves as vanquishing all terrorists in the run up to the election and Benghazi put the lie to that narrative.

Sharr on May 6, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Mr Gowdy should be able to find a few Dem Reps who have enough future to act rational. The Pelosis, Lewis’ and essentially anyone we know from talking head shows or random outbursts of stupidity would not cut the mustard.

So, maybe there really aren’t any Dems who care about the truth . . .

ha_tspc on May 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

All these confirms what we know.
Republicans are scared of Hillary.
I’m not so sure Benghazi is the top of the most important items for Americans tight now.
What do the polls say?
Clearly a potential Clinton presidency is giving some people sleepless night.
Americans can smell this buls^$t from a mile away.

weedisgood on May 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Let me repeat myself…

I have a dead horse named “Benghazi”… You Cons wanna kick it for a while? It may be easier on your continence than the poor minorities which are normally on the receiving end.

acetylene420 on May 5, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Here is the difference between Americans and socialist, statist drones in a nutshell… as much as I despise Nancy Pelosi, if she were assraped and murdered under the Bush administration, I’d be demanding answers.

PointnClick on May 5, 2014 at 8:39 PM

PointnClick on May 6, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Pelosi doesn’t do math very well.

GarandFan on May 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

They won’t even say where Obama was during the attacks. Yet, there were countless pictures during the OBL raid. Where are the pictures of that night?

Who gave the stand down order?

Why weren’t all assets immediately deployed?

Why wasn’t security increased weeks before, when requested?

nazo311 on May 6, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Ask Moochelle where the Bamster was, she of course was finishing off Lobster and Filet.

Goodie on May 6, 2014 at 8:06 PM

as much as I despise Nancy Pelosi, if she were assraped and murdered under the Bush administration, I’d be demanding answers.

I’d be rejoicing that there is justice in the universe.

earlgrey on May 6, 2014 at 10:13 PM

When Nancy was locking Republicans out of meetings on Obamacare, I wondered if she thought about the consequences if the Republicans gained power? Apparently not. Of course, the Republicans usually roll over and and play dead when it’s their turn. Thank God for the TP conservatives.

fight like a girl on May 6, 2014 at 10:30 PM

neyney on May 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

That^

Mimzey on May 6, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Trey Gowdy for President.

He’s the first politician since Ronald Reagan that I trust.

BMF on May 7, 2014 at 9:21 AM

He is right

when pelosi was in the majority they had majority on committee’s

just like the dems have majority in committees in the senate right now.

sniffles1999 on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

What a total putz! Only in san francissy……. what a nest of idiot liberals!

ultracon on May 7, 2014 at 3:10 PM

I’ve heard that, in the hands of a real expert, there is no such thing as a deleted document in an IT environment such as the government’s. And that alterations to original documents can be traced. Can someone knowledgeable comment on this?

horatio on May 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Not an expert by any stretch, but if the documentis simply deleted, it’s not gone. Usually it can be recoved unless a “shredding” program is used.
todler on May 6, 2014 at 1:42 PM

In a normal environment, the user(s) on a govt system wouldn’t even be able to install a shredder program or any other un-approved program. That and all of the backups and backups to the backups. But those rules really don’t apply at the upper-echelons where the elites can have multiple aliases and other means to electronically hide their tracks. That plus we’re depending on the IT folks to actually find and turn over requested files. If they are following “higher” instructions to NOT find stuff, then it’s their word against yours. The only true way to find out would be to have independent researches having hands on the system to see what’s there.

The smart thing here is to subpeona the IT folks and see what pops out.

AH_C on May 7, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Sorry Nancy but we won!

Dollayo on May 7, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I demand that you Piglosi, drive off a cliff.

F_This on May 7, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Pelosi must be told that she’s in no position to demand anything in this case.

jacobim on May 8, 2014 at 12:49 AM

hey nancy, how many times did you give the republicans EQUAL seats when you had majority.

or how does the democrat controlled senate do about equal seats to the republicans since the dems got the majority there.

well?

thought so.

sniffles1999 on May 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM

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